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Published On: August 9th, 2016

AUGUST8thWEBMadison, WI – August 8th, 2016. The Mallards (19-12, 42-25) topped the Willmar Stingers (12-11, 38-30) on Monday, winning their eighth straight contest.  Madison was able to put together some timely hits, scoring three of their five runs with two outs.

Madison jumped in front early, with Matt McCann (Fairleigh Dickinson) doubling Nico Hoerner (Stanford) home all the way from first. After McCann stole third, Cameron Frost (Washington State) delivered a two-out RBI single to give Madison a two-run advantage.

The game stood at 3-1 after four innings, with Willmar scoring a run on a two-out RBI single from Eddie Estrada (Minnesota). A Joe Stefanki (San Jose State) RBI double in the bottom half made the Madison advantage 3-1, setting the stage for a tightly-contested final five innings.

Quincy McAfee (Pepperdine) blasted a three-run home run in the fifth, propelling the Stingers to a 4-3 lead. Madison starter Drew Slade (Ripon College) would strikeout the next two batters before allowing a single, ending his night. The ball would then be handed to Alex Smith (North Florida), who turned in one of his most outstanding relief performances of 2016.

“I was just trying to stay ahead and keep runners off base,” said Smith. “Your run support can change in every outing, so I was just hoping to give my team a chance.”

Still trailing by a run in the eighth, Nelson Maldonado (Florida) knocked a double to the wall to leadoff the frame, with Zach Jarrett (UNC-Charlotte) sending him home on a double of his own one batter later. Jarrett was animated as he arrived at second, demonstrating the mentality of this team over the past few games.

“Our guys are starting to play with a certain swagger,” said Jarrett. “At this point of the year, a lot of guys don’t want to be here just because of how many games there are. This team definitely wants to be here, and we want to see how far we can go with it.”

Jarrett would score the go-ahead run two batters later on a wild pitch in the eighth.  The 5-4 score would hold and go final, giving Madison their eighth consecutive victory.

Alex Smith picked up the win after three and a third innings of hitless baseball. Willmar reliever Anthony Garza (Missouri State) was tagged with the loss, giving up back-to-back doubles to Maldonado and Jarrett to leadoff the eighth. Mitch Vogrin (Illinois State) earned the save, his second of the summer.

Drew Slade took the no-decision, pitching 4.2 innings in his first start in Madison. The left-hander from nearby Pardeeville, Wisconsin, has been coming to Mallards games as a fan for years, excited to finally pitch in front of the amazing fan base that he was once a part of.

“I definitely just embraced the moment and took it all in,” said Slade. “I tried to treat it as any other game. I wanted to relax and get outs.”

The Duck Pond will host the Northwoods League Major League Dreams Showcase on Tuesday, with the top prospects in the league being given a chance to showcase their talents in front of MLB scouts. Gates open at 3:00 pm with game one getting underway at 4:05 pm with game two beginning at 7:35 pm.

The Mallards will return to the Duck Pond on Wednesday, August 10th, to take on the Willmar Stingers at 7:05 pm. The game will be the last regular season home game of the season. It will be Cutter Night at the Duck Pond as well as JJO I Love the 90's Night. The game will feature Fan Appreciation Night presenting ZOOperstars! It will also be Bacon Appreciation Night and CAT Night. Tickets are available for purchase by visiting MallardsBaseball.com, calling the Mallards ticket office at 608-246-4277, or stopping in the ticket office at 2920 N Sherman Ave.

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The Madison Mallards are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 150 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.mallardsbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Mallards as your favorite team.